Saints rookie Davis Tull flashes a few glimpses in Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Davis Tull is still finding his way at the NFL level. The Saints’ new outside linebacker, a fifth-round pick from Chattanooga, has only been able to learn on the field for the past couple of weeks, a product of surgery to repair a torn labrum back in college. But Tull was able to flash a few of… Continue reading →

Saints get unique look at Marcus Murphy on Green Bay’s 66-yard field goal attempt

Marcus Murphy won the Saints’ return job by fielding seven kicks and five punts in the preseason. But he got a very different kin of chance altogether against the Packers on Thursday night. With nothing to lose, the Packers sent kicker Mason Crosby out to try a 66-yard field goal attempt, a Herculean kick that few can replicate. Crosby’s offering fell short. And the… Continue reading →

Injuries make it tough to predict Saints’ 53-man roster, but here's a best guess

. I’ve done countless roster projections since I began covering the NFL. This might be the hardest one I’ve ever put together. It’s not because there are too many close battles or not enough talent at certain positions. It’s because there are so many injuries and unknown timetables. Do the Saints carry Keenan Lewis until he’s healthy? How about Dannell… Continue reading →

Willie Snead, Brandon Coleman try to cement their spots on Saints’ roster with solid night at Green Bay

Associated Press photo by MIKE ROEMER -- New Orleans Saints wide receiver Willie Snead catches a touchdown pass in front of Green Bay Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins during Thursday's preseason game at Lambeau Field.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Until Thursday night’s preseason finale against Green Bay, the two breakout stars of the New Orleans Saints’ wide-open competition for wide receiver jobs had been on very different paths. Willie Snead, the out-of-nowhere player who rocketed up the depth chart at The Greenbrier, has been just as good in the… Continue reading →

Lewis: Saints players try to avoid unkindest cut of all

Associated Press photo by MIKE ROEMER -- Green Bay's Andrew Quarless tries to get past Saints safety Jamarca Sanford after a catch during Thursday's preseason game in Green Bay, Wis.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — In his first two exhibition games with the Saints, linebacker Justin Anderson never got on the field, save for a handful of special-teams plays. But Thursday night, Anderson, a second-year man from Louisiana-Lafayette, was starting against the Green Bay Packers. Such is the norm for the final preseason tune ups around the… Continue reading →

Saints cornerback Kyle Wilson makes his case in preseason finale at Green Bay

Associated Press photo -- Green Bay Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien throws during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. Ashaad Mabry applies pressure.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Kyle Wilson’s brief time in New Orleans has been up and down. Brought in to compete for the nickel cornerback spot, Wilson fell from the first team to the third team after summer workouts, then slowly worked his way back into contention for a roster spot with a solid training camp, marked by physical, hard-fought… Continue reading →

Saints at Packers: Nick Underhill’s three and out

Associated Press photo by MIKE ROEMER -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Garrett Grayson drops back during the second half of Thursday's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

1. A CASE OF THE MORGANS As competitive as the battle is for the final spot or two at wide receiver, every little mistake could be the one that sinks someone’s hopes of making the team. Joe Morgan committed two errors. First he fumbled the ball after catching a pass, and he later allowed a Garrett… Continue reading →

Saints' Bryce Harris, Brandon Browner, Kenny Vaccaro out of uniform for game at Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Cornerback Brandon Browner and strong safety Kenny Vaccaro have both practiced this week, but neither are available for Thursday’s preseason finale against Green Bay. Offensive tackle Bryce Harris, who was also present at Tuesday’s practice, is not dressed out for the game, either. Previously injured Saints players C.J. Spiller, Khiry Robinson, Ramon Humber and Dannell Ellerbe are… Continue reading →

Top Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis expected to miss at least four weeks after undergoing hip surgery

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) tries to pull in a pass in front of New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis (21) in the first half of a preseason NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

At some point this season the New Orleans Saints’ secondary will be on the field together. When that point comes remains a mystery. New Orleans took another hit this week with cornerback Keenan Lewis undergoing hip surgery. According to the NFL Network, he’s expected to miss at least four weeks. Lewis has been the linchpin of… Continue reading →

Predictions, key roster battle to watch in Saints vs. Packers tonight

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- New Orleans quarterback Ryan Griffin played less than a minute Sunday needs a strong performance Thursday against the Packers to have a chance to make the Saints' roster.

Ryan Griffin is in a tough spot. The Tulane product remained on the sidelines last week until there was less than a minute remaining and then threw an interception after entering the game. But even before he threw that pick, it became apparent that he has work to do if he wants to knock off Luke McCown and… Continue reading →

Nick Toon, Vinnie Sunseri, Ronald Powell clear waivers, placed on the Saints' injured reserve

The three veterans the Saints waived with an injury designation on Tuesday have cleared waivers. Wide receiver Nick Toon, safety Vinnie Sunseri and linebacker Ronald Powell were not claimed by any NFL team, meaning they are now placed on injured reserve. The three veterans will remain on injured reserve unless the Saints reach an injury settlement with the player once he’s healthy,… Continue reading →

With Keenan Lewis out several weeks with bum hip, Saints' strong secondary now major question

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints CB Keenan Lewis fights off the block of WR Joe Morgan

At some point this season the Saints’ secondary will all be on the field together. When that point comes remains a mystery. New Orleans took another hit this week with cornerback Keenan Lewis undergoing hip surgery. According to the NFL Network, he’s expected to miss at least four weeks of action. Lewis has been the linchpin of the Saints’ secondary and serves… Continue reading →

Receiver Nick Toon among casualties as Saints cut roster to 75

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --  Saints receiver Nick Toon hauls in a pass during training camp. Toon was among 15 players cut Tuesday to drop the Saints roster to the NFL limit of 75.

The Saints let go of a handful of familiar names in their effort to trim 15 names from the roster. Wide receiver Nick Toon’s name will likely resonate the loudest with fans of the team, but fullback Erik Lorig, linebacker Ronald Powell, and pass rusher Anthony Spencer and cornerback P.J. Williams, both of whom… Continue reading →

Saints trade Jalen Saunders to Patriots for conditional draft pick

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Saints kick returner Jalen Saunders (18) returns the opening kickoff 99 yards to set up the Saints' first touchdown Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The return was one of the few highlights in the Saints' 30-14 loss to the Falcons.

On a day when teams spend most of their time releasing players without an immediate return, the New Orleans Saints were able to get a little something back from one transaction Tuesday. New Orleans traded kick returner Jalen Saunders to New England for a conditional seventh-round pick, meaning the Saints will get an extra selection if Saunders plays for… Continue reading →

Saints reportedly place rookie P.J. Williams on injured reserve with torn hamstring

. The New Orleans Saints placed rookie cornerback P.J. Williams on season-ending injured reserve on Tuesday with a reported torn hamstring, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Williams, a Florida State product who battled injuries throughout training camp and played in only one preseason game against the New England Patriots, was the second of the team’s two third-round picks. New… Continue reading →

Saints claim Dolphins cornerback Sammy Seamster off waivers

The New Orleans Saints claimed former Miami Dolphins cornerbackSammy Seamster off of waivers on Tuesday. Seamster, a 6-foot, 205-pounder from Middle Tennessee State, played in two games for the Dolphins as a rookie in 2014. Claiming a player like Seamster at the 75-man cut-down essentially offers the Saints a chance to get an extended evaluation of him. “To claim a player to your… Continue reading →

Behind the Numbers: As season begins, Saints still benefit from historic 2006 draft class, but other groups less impressive

Sports Illustrated recently published a piece about the uniqueness of the 2006 Saints draft class — the group that included longtime Saints starters Reggie Bush, Roman Harper, Jahri Evans, Zach Strief and Marques Colston. Current Patriots starter Rob Ninkovich was also part of that class (and on the field for the most memorable play in Mercedes-Benz Superdome history) but… Continue reading →

Saints trade Jalen Saunders to New England Patriots for conditional pick

. The New Orleans Saints have traded Jalen Saunders to the New England Patriots for a conditional draft pick, according to a source. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the news first. The conditional pick would depend on Saunders’ playing time with New England. Saunders emerged as a return option for the Saints late last season, taking a kickoff back 99 yards… Continue reading →

Subject to review: Saints’ Willie Snead makes his case for a roster spot

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Saints wide receiver Willie Snead  stiff arms Houston Texans safety Lonnie Ballentine and makes a 23-yard -- 18 after the catch -- on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Willie Snead’s performance against the Houston Texans could have been even better. The receiver took advantage of his opportunity to work higher in the receiver rotation and caught four passes for 56 yards. It was a solid performance for a player who enters the final week of the preseason on the roster bubble. But some yards were left… Continue reading →

Garrett Grayson still learning to play at Saints’ speed

. Garrett Grayson still has a lot to learn. Even the basics. The third-round pick from Colorado State played nearly the entire second half of Sunday’s 27-13 loss to the Texans, and the first thing that popped into Sean Payton‘s mind after the game had little to do with a misfired throw or a bad read. Grayson is still… Continue reading →

Saints defense still has a long way to go

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  Saints defensive tackle Bobby Richardson, left, and linebacker Jerry Franklin put pressure on Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

After Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, Saints coach Sean Payton cracked that he told his team he was going to put on a second line to celebrate their first sack of the preseason. There was obvious sarcasm in his comment. It took the Saints far too long to record their first sack of the preseason. Coming… Continue reading →

Rabalais: Saints not happy with 0-3 start, but more concerned with 16 games down the road

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  New Orleans Saints tight end Orson Charles (81) is hit by Houston Texans defensive back Darryl Morris (21) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, August 30, 2015.

Scurrying down from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s treehouse press box to Sean Payton’s postgame postmortem, I overheard a snippet of a discussion about the Saints in the wake of Sunday’s 27-13 loss to the Houston Texans: “So, you think we’ll win six games this season?” Summer’s still here and the time is right for panic in the… Continue reading →

Houston running back Alfred Blue gets better result this time at Superdome

Associated Press photo by Jonathan Bachman -- Houston Texans running back Alfred Blue leaps over the goal line in front of Saints inside linebacker David Hawthorne (57) for a touchdown in the first half Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Facing a second-and-goal from the New Orleans Saints 1 on Sunday afternoon, former LSU and Houston Texans running back Alfred Blue thought back to the only other time he had played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It came on Jan. 9, 2012: LSU vs. Alabama for the BCS National Championship. Truth be told, he’d like to… Continue reading →

Lewis: Edwin Baker hanging on to the dream

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  Saints running back Edwin Baker breaks loose for a 45-yard touchdown against the Houston Texans on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Unfortunately for Saints running back Edwin Baker, it’s probably “been there, done that,” time again. Even after a day when he scored his team’s only touchdown. In his brief NFL career, Baker has been cut for three straight years, the past two in the first round when rosters are trimmed from 90 to 75.… Continue reading →

Three big observations from Saints' loss to Texans

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--  New Orleans Saints wide receiver Willie Snead (83) outruns Houston Texans inside linebacker Akeem Dent (50) to make a 17 yard gain in the second quarter as they play at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015.

1 Bad sign? It could be a bad sign that QB Ryan Griffin didn’t get on the field until there were less than 50 seconds remaining on the clock. There were only so many pieces of the pie to split up Sunday, and the coaching staff decided to serve Griffin… Continue reading →

Sean Payton says Saints penalties still 'troublesome' after loss to Houston

Two weeks after a penalty-marred preseason opener in Baltimore, the Saints couldn’t stay ahead of the law against the Texans. New Orleans was flagged 11 times for 148 yards, frustrating Payton once again. At one point, rookie punt returner Marcus Murphy had a 13-yard return nullified by offsetting penalties that included an illegal block by Davis Tull, then Murphy returned the ensuing… Continue reading →

Saints coach Sean Payton says backup quarterback Ryan Griffin will get more playing time in last preseason game against Green Bay

The battle for the backup quarterback job took a surprising turn against the Texans. Drew Brees only got one series, leaving what seemed to be ample time to get all three backup quarterbacks time against Houston. But Luke McCown played the rest of the first half and rookie Garrett Grayson played almost the entire second half, leaving Ryan Griffin only 42 seconds… Continue reading →

Hard knocked: Texans defeat Saints 27-13 in key preseason tune-up in Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  New Orleans Saints running back Marcus Murphy (48) is tackled by Houston Texans defensive back Andre Hal (29) in the first half of action  at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, August 30, 2015.

Willie Snead was given a bigger opportunity during Sunday's game against the Houston Texans. He stepped up and took advantage. Working as the No. 4 receiver, the second-year player caught four passes for 56 yards to build on the momentum he's created throughout camp. The Saints lost the game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 27-13. The Saints fell into an early hole when the defense… Continue reading →

Photos: Saints struggle against the Houston Texans in big preseason prep in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  Houston Texans running back Jonathan Grimes (41) is tackled by New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha (45) and nose tackle John Jenkins (92) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, August 30, 2015.

In theory Sunday's Saints-Houston Texans preseason game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was supposed to be the team's last chance to play most of their starters before their season openers in a couple of weeks. In reality it turned out to be a Texans 27-13 victory in a Saints game marred by mistakes and penalties. See photos of how the action went… Continue reading →

Saints backup safety Vinnie Sunseri carted off sideline in Texans game

Backup Saints safety Vinnie Sunseri, in the midst of a battle for a roster spot, was carted off the sideline during the second quarter of Sunday’s preseason game. Sunseri went down on punt coverage, was helped to the side by trainers and later carted off to the locker room. With three spots at safety occupied by Kenny Vaccaro, Rafael Bushand Jairus Byrd,… Continue reading →

Welcome to the Superdome for today’s game between the Saints and Texans

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Saints RB Marcus Murphy (48) is congratulated by team mate TE Kevin Brock (85) after Murphy scored the go-ahead TD before the Ravens came back in the final seconds of Baltimore's 30-27 win over the New Orleans Saints Thursday in the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

The big questions today is who plays and how much do they play.

Saints coach Sean Payton already addressed his quarterback rotation earlier this week, saying that Drew Brees would only see a handful of snaps and then be spelled by Luke McCown. Ryan Griffin and Garrett Grayson will play the second half.

The Houston Texans have rested their stars… Continue reading →

Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints: what to watch, three and out, four roster battles to watch, predictions

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton yells at a referee in the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the New England Patriots in New Orleans, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

This, they say, is the one that counts. The third preseason game is typically the one that teams treat as a dress rehearsal. The starters typically play longer, there’s more attention paid to the opponent and teams have most of everything installed by this point. In most cases, it’s the closest thing… Continue reading →